Nuno Espirito Santo – Jorge Mendes is good for Wolves

New boss Nuno Espirito Santo says it's 'no issue' that Jorge Mendes is closely associated with Wolves – and would say no to his friend of 20 years.

Wolves' new boss Nuno Espirito Santo
Wolves' new boss Nuno Espirito Santo

Questions have been raised about just how much influence the Portuguese agent has at the club, with Mendes believed to be closely advising Fosun on key decisions.

The arrival of Nuno, a client of Mendes, has again turned the spotlight on the relationship between Wolves and the agent, who has close links with owners Fosun.

Wolves signed a number of players from Mendes’ GestiFute agency following Fosun's takeover last summer, including record deals for Portuguese duo Ivan Cavaleiro and Helder Costa.

Nuno said he could understand why there were concerns.

But he added: "It is not a subject we should really be concerned of. We are talking about things which happen all over the place in football.

"The best agents have the best players. For me it is not an issue. We are talking about Jorge, he has been my friend for 20 years.

"I do my job, he does his job. The club has its own department, its own decisions to make. It doesn’t matter where the player is coming from as long as they will be here and a Wolves player from day one. This is what people should think."

A number of Mendes players are expected to join Nuno at Molineux this summer.

The 43-year-old ex-Porto boss believes it's only a positive that Mendes will be involved – but that he wants players to have conviction to join Wolves, as he has.

"The conviction has to come from the player, like I am here now," he added.

"You all know I had other options and I decided to come to Wolves because I believe in the promise and I believe in the people. I will these players to come to Wolves, I will them to join us. If the answer is yes, that is the first step.

"The first option is whether the player is good for us and can be good for Wolves. In terms of the person themselves, if he can help us bring in players, why not?

"But the club has its own recruitment and own decisions to make. People are going to realise that. It is not about power, or whether Jorge is a friend of the owner for some time.

"It is normal they speak and try to help each other. But the truth is players are coming to Wolves because of A. B and C."

And, the new boss added, he'd have no qualms saying no to Mendes.

"Of course," he insisted. "That would make sense. In life, you say no to your friends. I am the one who is going to be here. The owner has this idea. He wants players who will succeed."

Managing director Laurie Dalrymple, also speaking at yesterday's unveiling of the new head coach, admitted that Fosun are advised by Mendes but that to his knowledge Mendes had no say about Lambert being sacked.

The MD added: "He’s there as a go-to for advice and opinion.

"It’s quite an easy go-to for focus and attention in terms of the focus that’s put on this as a story.

"At the end of the day we’ve only got a couple of players from his stable at the moment.

"I think he’s there more on 'who can I put in that’s going to make you better'.

"Wolves is a relatively small club. He’s probably spent three of four of the past seven days in Manchester (with Manchester City) making much bigger money than he’s going to make out of Wolves in the next year or two.

"He’s there, whether they go to him for advice and opinion, I’m sure they do. He gets remunerated if he brings anyone in.

"He’s an agent that recommends players. He’s not physically running recruitment. He knows the owner well. Is he someone we’ve taken players from over the past 12 months? Yes. Is he someone we may continue to? Yes he may well be."

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